Apartment plants

Alocasia macrorrhiza

Question: sick alocasia

Good morning, I have an macrocorrhiza alocasia and repotting it I noticed a part of the rhizome that seemed a little rotten and inhabited by white insects. The leaves are born wrinkled, as if they had bubbles ... should I treat it? does it depend on insects or simply on the fact that we are coming out of the winter season? Thanks in advance!

Alocasia macrorrhiza: Answer: sick alocasia

Dear Vanessa,
alocasia is a large rhizomatous root plant, widespread in nature in Asia and Australia; the fleshy roots are quite conspicuous and produce large leaves, with long rigid and arched petioles, very decorative. When a rhizome suffers, it also suffers the entire plant that originates from it, and if you do not completely cure the rhizome, your alocasia will have a short life. First you need to take the rhizome out of the ground and clean it well from excess soil, using a brush and washing it perfectly; with a well sharpened instrument, like a sharp kitchen knife, sterilized with alcohol, remove all the ruined part of the rhizome, rotten or with insects, and destroy the parts you remove (a nice fire is ideal to kill insects, mold and mushrooms); at this point sprinkle the wounds with a copper-based fungicide product, let it dry for about a day in a well-ventilated place and then replace the rhizome in a pot, but with fresh soil and, if you intend to reuse the same pot, first wash it well and sterilize it, to prevent the mushrooms that have previously ruined the rhizome from lurking on its walls. Put the pot in a bright and well-ventilated place, and start watering again in about a week, when the rhizome starts to vegetate again. In any case, consider that insects and larvae in the ground are usually beetles or oziorrinchi; larvae eat plant roots, while adults eat flowers and leaves; it is therefore very important to prevent the reappearance of this type of insects, which produce eggs in autumn, and develop the following spring. Very often it happens that the eggs winter in the apartment undisturbed: the annual repotting of our plants greatly reduces the presence of larvae and consequent insects in the soil of the pots. If you don't have the time or the desire to repot your plants every year, at the end of winter I advise you to spread bait on the ground against insects, which will at least contain the problem (unfortunately, from personal experience, if you happen to find a year of insects in a vase, the same insects will recur from year to year until you work to contain their propagation). Rotting, on the other hand, can be favored by incorrect cultivation; the alocasia plants in autumn terminate their vegetative development; after the large leaves have started to turn yellow, you can safely stop watering, and keep the pots in a cool, dark and completely dry place, until the end of winter; in this way hardly molds and rottenness will develop in the dry earth.